american forces like we had not seen in years. one of the first mobilizations was our united states military. and they were called to serve bravely in remote corners of the global. 11 years later the mastermind of 9/11, osama bin laden, was taken down, and we now have an al qaeda that is severely diminished, and we are bringing our troops home from that part of the world. but, mr. president, for the troops when they come home, the fight is not over. there's another fight when they get back home to america. it's a different type of battle. the unemployment rate among veterans returning from iraq and afghanistan was just under 11% in august. it's higher for those who are younger, and this problem is likely to continue to grow as we draw down in afghanistan, just like we've already drawn down in iraq. it's worth noting that there have been steps made in the right direction. this past summer we passed legislation that'll help veterans get federal occupational licenses when their military training matches the civilian requirements. that was a bill that i had the privilege of sponsoring.